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Canada is inspired by Australia's Immigration System

clock iconCreated At:06 March, 2023
write iconCreated By:Reem Mohamed

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Canada is ensuring that the Canadian Immigration System seeks input from universities and colleges.

The Canadian immigration minister, Sean Fraser, when announcing the launch of the new initiative, “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future," elaborated on how this will gather feedback to inform the country’s future migration policies. 

The IRCC took to Twitter to say the following: “@CitImmCanada: Today, Minister Fraser announced that we are looking for feedback to help create the next generation of Canada’s immigration system." We are exploring how immigration policies and programmes can better support Canada’s future.” 

Businesses and settlement organisations, as well as post-secondary institutions and academia, are all on the list of those being consulted for this new initiative. 

The aim of this review is mainly to explore how these immigration policies can support Canada’s future economy and create “the best experience for newcomers." 

“Immigration is critical to Canada’s long-term success, and we need to ensure our policies and programmes are aligned with the needs of our communities,” said Fraser. 

“That’s why the government of Canada is launching this large-scale engagement initiative, which will provide an opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders and Canadians to share their ideas and perspectives on how we can build a stronger, more adaptive immigration system for Canada’s future.” He added. 

100% of the growth of the country’s labour force is predicted to be represented by immigrants, according to the IRCC, and that could make up half of Canada’s total population within the next decade. A record 437,000 new permanent residents were accepted by the country in 2022. 

A spokesperson from IRCC, in response to the question of which policy areas the discussions will focus on, said that the initiative will touch upon “a full range of policies, programmes, and pathways”.

Will Tao, a Canadian immigration lawyer at Heron Law, predicted that the consultations are likely to include conversations about international students' wellbeing when it comes to policy related to international education. 

Tao, when pointing to recent reports by media, including CBC’s Fifth Estate, as drivers of this, said: “We are seeing, I would say, an unprecedented level of interest in the welfare of international students.” 

He added: “The politicians are now very invested, and they have large populations of international students and families living in their constituencies, and they’re starting to speak out and voice their concerns too." 

The managing director for World Education Services in Canada, Shamira Madhany, said the country needs “frameworks and tools in place to continue to attract international students while addressing the very real challenges present for these students."

Recommended topics to be covered by the consultations by WES include the exploration of ethical recruitment and transparency in the provision of upfront information and ongoing support to international students, among other topics. 

Another expected part of the discussion, according to Tao, is the processing of applications from francophone Africa as well as pathways to permanent residency.

After the refusal rates for study permits at the IRCC peaked at 49% in 2020, Tao also pointed to conversations within the sector about the need to change the application process to tackle high application refusal rates.

“I do see Canada looking very carefully at what Australia is doing, and I think there is an interest in higher approval rates and fewer applicants,” he said. 

“It’s still a little bit early to tell, but I know there are many advocates for a weighted system or one that has different category subcategories for international students, so we aren’t leaving the humanitarian students at the door.” He continued. 

An IRCC spokesperson said the body is approaching the review “with open minds and a genuine desire to hear what our partners and stakeholders, experts, clients, and the public have to say about the immigration system of the future." 

Throughout the spring, the government will be holding in-person engagement events, including “dialogue sessions," workshops, and a public survey. The first of these events was held by Fraser in Halifax on the 23rd of February. 

An online public survey, with the consultation period set to conclude in April 2023, will be launched by the government in March 2023. 

Roundtables should include people affected by immigration policies rather than only organisations and business leaders, which is what Tao called on the government to ensure. 

Public feedback is being invited into immigration policies as a result of Canada following in Australia’s footsteps. A review of the country’s migration system is currently being conducted by Australia’s Home Affairs department.

Given recent policy announcements related to Turkey and Iran, Tao said he is “curious” as to how much this consultation process will influence future change compared to how far it will be used to disseminate information about new policies already planned. 


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